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The DOOH Dynamo: An interview with Kim Sarubbi

Kim Sarubbi

Much advice is given about how to achieve balance in modern living. A stasis between work, play and family is sought by a significant portion of employed adults, with the exception of Kim Sarubbi. The President of Care Media Holdings and founder and CEO of Saddle Ranch Digital, Inc. possesses a can-do, will-do attitude that allows her to disregard the idea of balance in favour of simply being present in all three domains at once. This was made evident when she conducted a working telephone interview with me while heading home from a sunny getaway with her family. I don’t know how she did it, but we all seemed to have had her undivided attention.

Multitasking is not new to Kim. As an Organizational Communications student at the University of Central Florida, Kim paid her way through school by working for Disney and being part of a dance troupe that performed at events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs. Unsated with evenings and weekends, Kim also landed a day job in production, setting her up for a desired career in acting. Two weeks after she started, a man by the name of Phil Cohen walked into the office with a business idea, resulting in Kim’s subsequent employment at PetCARE Television Network. In addition to her studies, Kim travelled with her position and constantly volunteered to take on more tasks.

Though Kim may have fallen into digital signage back in 1993, she soon made it her vocation, doing everything from selling ads, recruiting doctors and mailing VHS tapes to clinics. During this time, Kim noticed a common issue in that nobody understood how to create content for the digital place-based medium. “Every time I collaborated with a creative professional, I would receive a proposal that was either not up to par or extremely overpriced. Nobody seemed to understand the purpose and potential of the industry whereas it seemed so commonsense to me.”

Kim founded Saddle Ranch in 2001 to focus on content production and respond to this evident and growing void. Specializing in turnkey planning and management of digital signage, Saddle Ranch has since installed thousands of screens in medical offices and commercial environments across the United States and has won many awards for its initiatives. “Too many people enter the industry, buy hardware and software and then slap a TV on the wall,” said Kim. “When meeting with clients, I always tell them to think outside the rectangle when considering their customer’s experience. Is the material relevant to the environment and targeted audience? How will the content engage the consumer and encourage interaction with its messaging?”

As digital signage works its way into the architecture of stores and the marketing strategy of businesses, the industry is in a constant stage of growth. The next level, says Kim, is when advertising dollars transition from television to DOOH. “The opportunity in digital place-based media is huge,” emphasized Kim, “because it can almost guarantee that marketing investments will reach a devoted audience.” She also noted that behind every successful industry is an organization that supports its constituents with education, research and networking. Not a stranger to being in several places at once, Kim became involved with the Digital Signage Federation in its first year of operation – she is now Vice Chair.

So what is it that drives Kim to continuously push herself, her work and her industry? “People say I make it look easy, but to be honest, this is who I am and I need it for my own sanity,” noted the lady who thought it was natural to give birth on a Saturday and be back in the office for the start of the work week. “I also do it for the sake of digital signage. Everyone needs to come together in order to figure out what works, what doesn’t and what will help us flourish moving forward. Most importantly, however, I do it for my family. I am so lucky to do what I do and am fortunate to be able to enjoy such successes with my loved ones.” A response that only a true dynamo could deliver.

About Kim

As the Founder and Owner of Saddle Ranch Digital, Kim Sarubbi is recognized as a key thought-leader in place-based, out-of-home digital media.

Since launching the company in 2001, Ms. Sarubbi has evolved Saddle Ranch Digital from a company focusing on content production for a handful of medical networks into an award-winning advanced media firm with a roster of global clients.
Ms. Sarubbi is Vice Chairman of the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), actively supporting and promoting the common business interests of the worldwide digital signage industry and the digital out-of-home network advertising industry.

With 20 years of experience spanning film, television, digital signage, sales and marketing, together with a tirelessly vibrant presence, Kim is a force both on and off the podium and has become a popular speaker and panel chair at leading industry events.